Sci-fi movie 'Encounter' to begin filming next week throughout Augusta

Published: Apr. 13, 2017 at 5:37 PM EDT
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News 12 First at Five / April 13, 2017

AUGUSTA, GA. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Movie crews are back in Augusta scouted spots earlier today to film a new movie. This time, it's about showing everything Augusta has to offer.

From the moment Paul J. Salamoff set his sights on Augusta, he knew this was the home for his new movie.

"I met everyone, and I sort of fell in love with the place very quickly," said Salamoff, Director of the film 'Encounter'.

Augusta's film office already has three films under its belt, but this one will be different.

"When it came time to do 'Encounter' there was not question we were going to do it in Augusta," said Salamoff.

The whole movie is tailored to Augusta. The script includes scenes from farms in Hephzibah, to other locations you might recognize. There's also a shot of Paine College's iconic clock tower and a scene at the demolished jailhouse off Reynolds Street.

"So you want to go to a place that has not only great tax incentives, but also a great crew base," said Salamoff.

Luckily, Augusta has both with a crew made up of two dozen locals, and that doesn't include volunteers for this film.

"We have been passionate about this business. Scraping pennies, working out of town," said Susan Willis, local casting director for 'Encounter.'

Willis is one of the casting directors for the film, but because this is an Augusta-centric film, her job is to cast locals.

"I actually cast four supporting roles, and the director wanted some local faces." said Willis.

But Willis said, it takes prep work, even for a background role.

"A lot of people don't understand that you're training for a job. This is my job," said Willis.

But what makes this film special is Augusta isn't playing anyone but itself. Augusta is playing Augusta.

Film crews will begin filming next week. Crews will be in Augusta for three weeks to shoot 'Encounter.' The Augusta Film Office told News 12 NBC 26 there are more plans for films this year, but they have not released those plans yet.

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